Canada police: Teen fugitives took own lives
TORONTO — Canadian police said Monday they believe two teenage fugitives suspected of killing a North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend as well as another man took their own lives amid a nationwide manhunt.
The Manitoba Medical Examiner completed the autopsies and confirmed that two bodies found last week in dense bush in northern Manitoba were indeed 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky. A police statement said their deaths appeared to be suicide.
A manhunt for the pair had spread across three provinces and included the Canadian military. The suspects had not been seen since the burned-out car was found on July 22.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia lecturer whose body was found July 19 along a highway in British Columbia.
They were also suspects in the fatal shootings of Australian Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose bodies were found July 15 along the Alaska Highway about 300 miles from where Dyck was killed.
The bodies of the suspects were found near Gillam, Manitoba — more than 2,000 miles from northern British Columbia.
Police said in a statement McLeod and Schmegelsky were dead for a number of days before they were found, but said they were strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen on July 22 and during extensive search efforts in the area.
Police also confirmed two guns were located and authorities are working to definitively confirm that the firearms are connected to the murders in British Columbia
Critical evidence found last week when police discovered items directly linked to the suspects on the shoreline of the Nelson River helped locate the bodies, police said. Following that discovery, authorities were able to narrow down the search.
Police sent in specialized teams and began searching high-probability areas. On Wednesday morning, police located the two bodies within 0.6 miles from where the items were found and approximately 5.6 miles from where they left a burnt-out vehicle on July 22.
The separate discoveries of three bodies and burning cars shook rural northern British Columbia and Manitoba.